14 February 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 225, still Other Plots, Methods of Revelation How to Develop Storyline, Rising Action
Announcement: Ancient Light is in publication, and you can buy it at almost any internet book sellers or order it from any brick and mortar bookstore. You can read about it at http://www.ancientlight.com. Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. I’ll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don’t confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of my newest novel, Valeska, is this: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
Here is my proposed cover for Valeska:
I decided on a white cover style. You can see more at www.GoddessofDarkness.com.
I am obviously not just making an observation about how to determine the genre of a novel. The idea is to show how to develop storyline. The power of the storyline comes out of a cohesive plot and theme. There must always be revelation of the characters (primarily the protagonist)–that quality consistently results in a good novel, however, it isn’t the only consideration for a good novel. If you look at the parts of a novel, you will see the climax is the focus. All good novels build to the climax and have a resolution. The focus of the climax is usually the indicator of the revelation of the plot. For example, if the climax resolves a mystery, the novel is likely a mystery plot. If the climax resolves a love interest, the novel is likely a romance plot. This isn’t always true, but then there are a lot of odd novels out there and many better than others.
In my estimation, a novel can be made very powerful by ensuring the resolution, the plot, and the theme match well. That doesn’t mean they have to be the same, but rather that a mystery novel should have a theme, plot, and resolution that match the concept of mystery.
Let’s evaluate this from the idea of the basic novel. A basic novel is characterized by the revelation of the protagonist. Oliver Twist can stand in for this “basic” novel. The entire novel is about the revelation of Oliver Twist. Oliver doesn’t know exactly who he is (that is, his origins). His friends don’t either. He makes his way in the world and the author (Dickens) both tells and shows us the life of Oliver Twist. The mystery (this isn’t a mystery novel) is who is this person Oliver Twist. Notice, the plot follows a character revelation idea. The theme isn’t quite as nice, but we usually ignore it–the theme is basically that a man holds the stature of his birth–Oliver was a noble birth and therefore a noble man. He learns from his experience to act nobly to others even those of a lower lineage. Still the theme is about the revelation of this character, the noble, Oliver Twist. In this example, the plot, theme, and then the climax (resolution) are about the revelation of who Oliver Twist is. In the end, the low born and criminal, Bill Sykes is defeated by the honest though soiled woman, who could spot Oliver’s nobility. This is the essence of a character revelation novel. I’m certain you can think of many other examples–most early novels were put together like this.